A CIESE Realtime Data Project

Wind Effects - Student Activities - Catch A Wave

Student Activities


Wind Effects - A Case Study

Does weather have an impact on the height of tides?

Procedure
1. Plot the following tide prediction data for Atlantic City, New Jersey, and create a line graph.

Tide Chart for Atlantic City, NJ (Steel Pier) - 9/14/99 to 9/17/1999
Date Day High Low High Low High
Time ft Time ft Time ft Time ft Time ft
9/14 Tue     04:59 0.49 11:14 4.53 17:29 0.68 23:28 3.98
9/15 Wed     05:38 0.76 11:58 4.39 18:18 0.92    
9/16 Thu 00:14 3.70 06:21 1.01 12:46 4.27 19:12 1.11    
9/17 Fri 01:05 3.47 07:09 1.20 13:39 4.19 20:11 1.21    
9/18 Sat 02:03 3.34 08:05 1.30 14:37 4.19 21:11 1.21    

2. Using the line same graph, plot the following measured tide data for Atlantic City, New Jersey. Use a different color to complete the line.

Measured for Atlantic City, NJ (Steel Pier) - 9/14/99 to 9/17/1999
Date Day High Low High Low High
Time ft Time ft Time ft Time ft Time ft
9/14 Tue     04:59   11:14   17:29   23:28  
9/15 Wed     05:38 1.3 11:58 4.9 18:18 1.5    
9/16 Thu 00:14 4.5 06:21 2.3 12:46 5.7 19:12 0.7    
9/17 Fri 01:05 2.6 07:09 0.1 13:39 3.5 20:11 0.1    
9/18 Sat 02:03 2.3 08:05 0.9 14:37 3.8 21:11      

3. Using the graph, answer the following questions on the Student Worksheet.

Were there any significant discrepancies between the predicted and measured water levels? Which day and time?
Can you hypothesize as to what might have occurred?

4. Review the following data recorded by the Coastal Monitoring Station presented below as time histories (Sept. 15 to Sept. 18). NOTE: The wave/tide gauge is located approximately 1/4-mile offshore in an average water depth of 13.1 ft MLLW.

5. Using the time histories, answer the following questions on the Student Worksheet.

Why would a sudden drop in barometric pressure be of significance? When did the drop occur?
What happened to the Wind Speed, Gusts and Direction at the same time of the sudden drop in barometric pressure?
What are all of these meteorological conditions an indication of?
Comparing the water level data you graphed to the meteorological conditions, why do you think the predicted water levels did not correlate with the measured water levels?
Was your hypothesis correct?

Satellite Images of Hurricane Floyd
Rutgers Site

6. Reviewing the predicted water levels and the meteorological information, how might the water levels been affected if the storm passed over Atlantic City at 11:30 am instead of 4:00 pm on September 16th? At 6:00 am?

7. The most damaging aspect of Hurricane Floyd was not felt along the New Jersey coast. Use the following links to determine which area of New Jersey received the most water damage from the storm.

U.S.G.S. Peak Streamflow Data
Raritan River at Bound Brook Site Map  
Elizabeth River in Elizabeth, NJ Site Map  
Hackensack River in New Milford, NJ Site Map  
East Branch Bass River, New Gretna, NJ Site Map  

 

This figure shows the total rainfall for a 2.5 day period between September 14th and 17th. Forty percent of the watershed was covered by 10 to 15 inches of rain. The red areas represent the heaviest amounts of rain.